The Audubon Society of Rhode Island selected Hampden Meadows School teachers Carrie Clegg and Jennifer Reynolds as educators of the year.
Ms. Clegg, who teaches fourth grade, and Ms. Reynolds, who teaches fifth, received their awards at the Society’s annual meeting held on Oct. 20.
“Audubon recognized Ms. Clegg and Ms. Reynolds for their outstanding and creative efforts to integrate environmental education into their classes,” stated a press release.
Ms. Clegg and Ms. Reynolds utilize Audubon resources during portions of the school year — they reached out to the society for help in building an outdoor classroom and curriculum. Part of that curriculum included projects in the woods behind the school and at Kent Street Pond.
“They felt it was important for students to have rich and diverse learning opportunities,” stated a release. “Their school abuts the Hampden Meadows Conservation Area where there are forest trails leading to a pond. It is a rich outdoor space for learning, and it was Ms. Clegg and Ms. Reynolds who saw the potential waiting for their students just outside their classroom doors.”
Ms. Clegg and Ms. Reynolds also secured grant funding from the Barrington Education Foundation to help pay for the Audubon assistance. The Barrington Land Conservation Trust also provided money for the program.
“Audubon is fortunate to support many outstanding teachers who work to improve science education and promote environmental literacy,” stated a release. “These teachers find innovative ways to incorporate environmental education practices into their curriculum. They engage their students with meaningful learning experiences. And they get their students outside engaged in hands-on learning. Carrie Clegg and Jennifer Reynolds are two such teachers.”
The outdoor classroom curriculum and training was completed a year ago, and this past year Audubon educators made numerous visits to work with the local teachers and students on the outdoor lessons.
Ms. Clegg and Ms. Reynolds are involved in writing the district’s science curriculum and are part of the district’s Green Team, which involves students in recycling, composting, and gardening.
“Carrie Clegg and Jennifer Reynolds are truly passionate about teaching and the environment. Audubon applauds their efforts to support their student environmental literacy,” stated the release.